Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Brace yourself

Simon isn't totally in the clear after all. You remember that big weight that was lifted when they told us the syrinx had shrunk? Well, it's back. I took Simon in today to see his pediatric orthopedic surgeon to check on his scoliosis. Last time we were there in May the curve had gotten better so I didn't think much of today's visit as anything other than routine.

The curve has worsened. It went from 18 to 26. Why? I don't know at all. It should have gone the other way- syrinx shrinks, scoliosis improves. The doctor didn't even flinch as he began explaining to me how my son, who is just 6 years old, will have to start wearing a brace 20- 22 hours a day for years to come. He can take it off to bathe and get a bit of exercise but that's about it. I am so upset about this. I couldn't help but start to cry as the doctor told me all about this new change in Simon's life.

We were sent right on over to get him fit for his new brace. He is such a trooper. He put on a happy face and held still while they wrapped him in a cast. I asked Simon if it'd be ok if I took pictures of what was happening so I could share it with all of you.

They put a long tee shirt on him and put vaseline under his arms to keep the cast from sticking. He was trying to look manly because I told him he was wearing a dress. Aren't I a nice mom? Hey, I was trying to make the situation as light as I could. If you look in the background the xray film is of his curve.

Little brother was checking out the new outfit. Seth did a great job today.

Lots and lots of measurements were taken.

The markings will transfer to the inside of the cast.

They wrapped him in the casting material. I've never gotten a cast so it was neat to see how it's done. There is a yellow strip in the front to help cut him out when it dries.

They adjusted him slightly as the cast was drying so the brace will start to adjust his spine.

They cut him out of the cast and the t-shirts.

We'll go back on the 4th of December to pick it up and learn about using it. Apparently you have to get used to wearing it so he will start the first week sleeping in it and then the next week he'll start wearing it to school. I did call the neurosurgeon when I got home and left a message. They might have to run more tests to determine if there is any neurological things going on. Poor kid. By his 7th birthday he'll be wearing a brace full time.

On our way home I got him McDonald's for lunch. I had plenty of food at home that was much better for us but hey, how often do you find out things like this. I can indulge him a bit, right? The good news is now when his sister gets mad and hits him she'll hurt herself more that him. There's an upside to everything.


Scylla said...

Oh honey, I am sorry to hear it. We love you.

woman at the well said...

Ellen, I'm so proud that you are trying to make it positive for Simon. We'll pray that the brace makes the problem better quickly or the doctors find out other ways to treat it. One good thing is knowing it has to be treated and then knowing you have to figure it out.

Amy Y said...

Oh Ellen... Poor you guys :( I was so excited that it had shrunk. I wasn't expecting this at all. :(

But what a lil trooper he is, eh?

I think you all deserved Mc D's ~ him for being great at the dr and you getting a break from cooking.

Hang in there, mama.

Woman with a Hatchet said...

I'm sorry to hear this, Ellen. Hang in there.

Tell Simon I think he looked like a super hero! Or a mummy. Or a Super Hero Mummy! Fighting crime with ancient Egyptian powers. Sunlight and magic dust are involved. : )